Occupational Therapy New Zealand Whakaora Ngangahau Aotearoa

Dr Linda H Wilson (Dec. 2017)

Honorary Life Member (dec. Dr Linda Wilson)

OBITUARY: Linda Helen Wilson July 21, 1949 – June 9, 2017

In the most formal account of her life, Fulbright scholar Dr Linda Wilson probably will be remembered as the woman who set up the occupational therapy school at Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin in 1990.  For the Waikato, she helped do the same at Wintec in Hamilton a few years back.

Dr Linda Wilson was a long standing champion of occupational therapy in her extensive and diverse career. After leaving school in 1967, Linda trained as an occupational therapist in Auckland for three years, where she stayed at the YMCA, before heading to Dunedin to complete her bonding. She graduated top of the class. She was a proud member of the occupational therapy profession for more than 50 years.

In 1973 she moved to Perth to the Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital before heading for Melbourne and a job at St Vincent’s Hospital. By 1976 she had returned to New Zealand to teach.

Her illustrious career has spanned hospital based services, consulting, contracting, writing and research, lecturing and supervision. In 1970 Linda first became a member of our professional association. She has held a number of roles within the organisation from branch convener and liaison person for Otago / Southland, to holding office as the New Zealand delegate of the World Federation of Occupational Therapy legislative committee 1989 to 1993.

In 1996 Linda became the Francis Rutherford Lecture Award recipient.  Her professional experience has included being Head of School Occupational Therapy Otago Polytechnic 1990 – 2005.

In 2015 Linda was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  After an operation, Linda lost her peripheral vision but, for the most part, remained active and well.

Linda was awarded an honorary life membership of Occupational Therapy New Zealand in 2016.

Linda died peacefully at Pohlen Hospital in Matamata on 9 June 2017.  It is with great regret that Dr Linda Wilson is no longer with us however her legacy lives on.  Please view here her video on ‘Why she chose occupational therapy?’